When involved in a legal dispute, you may need to subpoena another person's employment records. For example, if you think your former spouse makes more money than he claims or if you think your former employer fired you unjustly. The legal system classifies employment records as business records, so you must follow the subpoena process for that type of record. You can either request that the employer send the records for examination, produce them at trial or both. All follow the same basic process.
Read your state and local rules of court concerning subpoenas. Every state has slightly different requirements. You can find your state's laws in any law library or a state government website. The civil procedure portion of the code usually contains the information. Clerks of the court can supply you with local court rules. Some states have specific forms to fill out, which will contain the proper language for obtaining a subpoena. You will need to fill in the blanks with details like names and dates. Ask the clerk of the court for any forms.
Write the subpoena or fill out the form. Include the court information, case information, who you are, what records you are requesting, where you want the records produced and when, and where you want the person to appear to testify and when. You cannot require the employer to produce the records in an unreasonable time period. Check your state's laws to determine the minimum amount of time you must give the employer. Sign the subpoena. If you are not an attorney, your state might require that your signature be notarized.
Write interrogatories to the employer's custodian of business records, questions the custodian must fill out and return with the records. Different states require different questions. In general, you need to ask who the person is, who he works for, what his job title is, what records he is producing, if they are records kept in the ordinary course of business and if he certifies he has produced true and accurate copies.
File the subpoena with the clerk of the court handling your case. Ask the clerk for certified copies.
Serve the subpoena on the employer by sending it through certified mail or having the sheriff serve it. Send a copy of the subpoena to the opposing party in the case or her attorney.
A professional writer, Michael Butler has been writing Web content since 2010. Butler brings expertise in legal and computer issues to his how-to articles. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Washburn University. Butler also has a Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington.